Adam Celeban - Artist, Illustrator & Designer

Adam Celeban is a visual storyteller, specialising in the creation of characters that are alive with a soulful, relatable depth and energy. You'll find Adam's Illustration work in children's books, toys and activity sets.

View Illustrations Donald Trump, Wizard of Oz, Scarecrow.

If I Only had a Brain

If I Only had a Brain, Digital Painting, Adam Celeban 2017

6 June 2017 - Digital Painting (Photoshop). Duration: 24 hours.

Enjoy! Feel free to share it around. T-shirts and accessories with the design, in multiple colours, are available at

View Illustrations Childrens Book, Character Design, Australia.

Chadwick's Challenge

Chadwick's Challenge - Children's Book Illustration & Digital Painting, Adam Celeban 2013

October 2013–2014. Digital Painting (Photoshop).

Written by Sue Ruffle, Chadwick's Challenge is a story about a young kookaburra conquering his fear and learning to fly. Pictured above is an early sample spot illustration from the book, and is a taster, as the book is still in production. It shows Chadwick being taken under the wing of his uncle Apari, and confiding in him.

Update: Winner in the Silver category of Illustrators Australia Awards 2015!

View Illustrations Digital Painting, Creature Design, Photoshop.

The Bell-tail Miniature Dragon

Adam Celeban - Digital Painting 2013

13 December 2013 - Digital Painting (Photoshop). Duration: 1 working day.

Pictured above, is a quick creature design I did for Helpful Bear Productions' Creature Design Contest. The Miniature dragon lives in dense tropical rainforests, cautiously fluttering from pond to treetop. Camouflaged like a leaf on a branch, swaying with the wind, the miniature dragon has been observed to pounce, with lightning reflexes, upon unsuspecting crickets, flies, dragonflies, and beetles.

View Illustrations Character Design, Drawing, Book.

Drawing Dreams

The Turbit - Adam Celeban 2012

November 2012. Pencil and Marker.

These two characters were created for Drawing Dreams, a charitable organisation that helps to cheer up sick kids in hospitals. The quackamoose and turbit are my two contributions to their soon-to-be-released colouring book "Zularious Animals".

The Quackamoose - Adam Celeban 2012
View Illustrations Character Design, Digital Painting, Drawing, Book.

Trevor the Meerkat

Trevor the Meerkat - Adam Celeban 2012

Trevor, pictured in the above sheet of poses and expressions, is a character I've been slowly developing for a children's storybook currently titled "King of the Mountain". He's the inquisitive protagonist who "one day stood up and took notice", and he's on a quest to have a puzzling question answered.

View Illustrations Childrens Book, Character Design, Australia.

High Tea at the Top End

High Tea at the Top End - Childrens Book Illustration & Digital Painting, Adam Celeban 2012

September 2012. Digital Painting (Photoshop).

This piece is a sample spread for the Children's Book, currently titled "High Tea at the Top End". The idea for it came to me suddenly simply as the thought: Crocodiles in duck fascinators. I used this project particularly as a vehicle to develop my recent visual ideas of Australian landscapes and colours, and further hone my own individual style. To the left, you'll also notice some character development sketches.

View Illustrations Digital Painting, Character Design, Photoshop.

The Pirate

The Pirate - Adam Celeban Character Design 2012

20 July 2012. Character Design. Working sketches in marker, final painting in Photoshop.

The brief called for a pirate-character on the search for treasure, using a mech to travel, search-for and obtain the booty.

To make a mech plausible to be made by someone in the time of pirates I figured it would either have to be man-powered, or would be built by someone a little ahead of their time, and powered by steam. This instantly conjured an image of a pirate reminiscent of the "steam-punk" genre. So I looked to pirate ships, carriages, steamboats and trains for inspiration. I began designs with carriage and strong-hold-like walkers, and even walking boats and ships. Looking at the character designs I had come up with, I inspected them, wondering which of them would have the means or inclination to make such a machine in a time when man power was clearly easier and cheaper, and came to the conclusion that he is an adventurer first and foremost. A little odd, but immensely brilliant. Not someone who commissioned a machine, but the same person who invented it. This pirate was going to be a cross between Captain Hook, Captain Cook, and Dr. Who. A character with an insouciant swagger atop his "bow-legged metallic treasure huntin' stallion!".

View Illustrations Toy Design, Kids.

Robot Reconstruction & Dino Discovery

Cafe Kidz Robot Reconstruction, Adam Celeban Illustration 2012 & 2014

Café Kidz is a wonderful crafty product designed to keep kids entertained. Their creator, Robyn Holdsworth, came up with the idea of a pack to sell in cafes that will keep kids quiet, entertained and engaged, while a parent can catch up with a friend over coffee. Previous packs that have been created were aimed generally, and at girls. Robyn approached me with taking on the more boy-centric illustration projects named "Robot Reconstruction" and "Dino Discovery".

Robot Reconstruction has 4 different kinds of robot, assembled from specifically designed—cut and folded—pieces of card, and stickers for features. They are also accompanied by a sticker-scape, pencils and an activity booklet. As well as the activity booklet, Dino Discovery includes cartoons, dinosaur fact sheets, stickers and sticker-scape.

(Some design and packaging illustration by John Veeken. All other illustrations and designs by Adam Celeban). Copyright Cafe Kidz.

View Illustrations Watercolour, One Word One Day, Teeter, Lindy Hop.

Frankie the Frog, Falling off the Log

One Word, One Day (teeter) - Adam Celeban 2012

20 June 2012 - Pencil on paper. Duration: 3-4 hours.

I was fortunate enough to be a part of One Word, One Day. It's an event organised by the ASA for illustrators around Australia to come together to raise money for the Indigenous Literacy Fund by auctioning off their works. The event moves around the each state's capital city, each having a word that is revealed as the topic for the day's illustrations. Sydney's word was "Teeter".

My entry is a portrait of sorts, of the incomparable Frankie Manning. A legend of Swing Dancing. As an afterthought it seemed apt to have one of the first "lindy-hoppers" conveyed as a frog. The illustration shows "Frankie the Frog, Falling off the Log", which happens to be well-known jazz step he most likely invented.

It was so inspiring being able to work alongside so many artists, who's work I have long admired. The illustrators I had the pleasure of working with were the likes of Bruce Whatley, Ben Wood, Serena Geddes, Alison-Jane Rice, Anthony Flowers, Alex Hammond, Pete Fairfax, Sadami Konchi, Brian Brown, PJ Magalhaes and Jill Carter Hansen.

View Illustrations Digital Painting, Photoshop, Christmas.

North Pole Portrait

Family Photo - Digital Painting, Adam Celeban 2010

16th December 2010 - Digital Painting (Photoshop). Duration: 9 hours.

Merry Christmas! This artwork was designed as a Christmas card, and was done to a fairly tight deadline so it could be printed on time.

On the left is Uncle Frosty, filled to the brim with Christmas cheer. Ever since he discovered that alcohol won't freeze at temperatures just below zero, he's always managed to have a good time at all of the family get-togethers. Larger than life and full of pride, Santa Claus embraces his family. On Santa's other side stands Jack Frost, always a little unimpressed by family activities. Mrs Claus sits in the middle, with her Elvin children around her. And let's not forget the family pet, Rudolf.

View Illustrations Digital Painting, Character Design, Photoshop.

Nanna at the Mall

Nanna at the Mall - Digital Painting, Adam Celeban  2010

12th August 2010 - Digital Painting (Photoshop).

I was invited to exhibit my work at Brunswick Street Gallery in a group show called "Digital Dreams", which exhibited nine digital painters from all over Australia.

This work originated from an image that popped into my mind, while sitting in the mall, just watching people. This ancient little lady sitting down devouring an ice-cream one morning before I went to work. Her weathered face and beak-like mouth made me think of a snapping turtle.

I completed this work over a few evenings, and got it done just in time to get it printed, framed and shipped to Melbourne for the show.

View Illustrations Digital Painting, Photoshop, Australia.

Aussie Santa

Aussie Santa, Digital Speed Painting - Adam Celeban 2009

10th December 2009 - Digital Painting (Photoshop). Duration: 3 hours.

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Created for a Christmas card, this speed-painting is a new re-invention of Santa Claus in the land Down Under.
It's quite apparent to anyone who gives it any thought, that a reindeer-drawn sleigh is a most impractical form of transport for anyone intending to travel in Australia.

Santa rides an "obviously magical" quad bike drawn by six red kangaroos. He is adorned with black gumboots and gloves, tight little red shorts, and a cookie and beer-stained singlet. His red Akubra, edged with cotton wool protects his dusty face from the hot Australian sun.

It's a tough ride, made all the tougher by the need to make a quick change into his red robes, in the dark, whilst flying over the Pacific Ocean, island-hopping his way to America. I really hope Santa finds a moment to take a break and have a shower!

View Illustrations Digital Painting, Character Design, Photoshop.

All Aboard the Clandestine Express!

Clandestine Express - Digital Painting, Adam Celeban 2009

Created for the CGSociety Challenge XXIV, titled "Secret Agent" (11 June 2009 - 10 September 2009) - Digital Painting (Photoshop).

Originally published through CG Society, this work is my entry for their "Secret Agent" CG Challenge of 2009.

This digital painting is a tribute to cartoon spies, as we remember them; short in stature, green skin, moustaches, trench coats pulled tight, hats pulled down low, shady shifty eyes. My inspiration for this piece was drawn from 40s - 60s cartoons.

I immersed myself in cartoons such as TV Ads of the time, Hannah Barbera, The Pink Panther, The Dover Boys, Dudley Do-Right (particularly the villain Snidely Whiplash), Inspector Gadget and many more to eventually create a look for this piece.

View Illustrations Digital Painting, Photoshop.


Wolfman, Digital Painting - Adam Celeban 2009

5 March 2009 - Digital Painting (Photoshop). Duration: 9 hours.

This "Werewolf" is the beginning of a mythical creatures series. The intent of the series is to inject a little more reality, as I see it, into the way these creatures are seen. I've always been interested in mythology, but aside from that, I am often dissatisfied with the creature designs I see in many movies and TV shows.

This painting closely followed the viewing of the newest of the Underworld movies. I enjoyed the experience because I spent most of it imagining what more could be done with Vampires and Werewolves.

In this instance, the werewolf is clearly more wolf (Grey Wolf specifically), but retains the pink skin of a man underneath, and shows the shirt stretched to extreme above.

View Illustrations Digital Painting, Character Design, Photoshop.

Office Pandamonium

Office Pandamonium - Adam Celeban 2007

14 March 2007 - Digital Painting (Photoshop). Duration: 2-3 days.

I realised that after a year at my previous job, I hadn't been drawing. Well, almost not at all. I think I remember an occasion during that year when I just had to draw something to tell myself I could still do it and the talent hadn't begun to deteriorate. Thankfully I still had it but I was rusty, and definitely out of practice.

When I described my job at to at least 3 friends, ones I hadn't seen in a while, they were all surprised that it didn't include any drawing. They all imagined me doing something where I was drawing. And to be completely honest with myself, so did I.

It seems the video games industry has had a remarkably draining effect on many other artists as well. At the surface it sounds like a dream job to "geek-out" over, but I'm not sure if it's so good when other people are more excited about your job than you are.

Anyway, I got inspired watching one of Bobby Chiu's video casts, and made a start on some digital illustration challenges with my friend, Mr Marques, where we each do a drawing concept. This, the first one is under the theme of "Panda with office supplies". This painting has been strongly influenced by the movie Office Space.